Ms. I's Update
St. John School - Empowering for Excellence
Dear St. John School community,
It’s been a busy month and there is so much to be thankful for. With the help of our community, St. John School successfully reopened for in-person learning. We now have students from TK to eighth grade on campus. Our school has had zero positive COVID-19 cases among the staff and students on campus. That being said, cases are rising in the Bay Area. Please inform the school immediately if your child tests positive or is a close contact. This will ensure timely contact tracing.
This year’s Thanksgiving will look very different from years past. Traditionally, it would be a time to travel and gather with family and friends over a meal. I have a large family and always look forward to seeing all of my siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles, and their respective partners. Unfortunately, all of us gathering together indoors is too risky. Thankfully, there are alternatives as listed out in the guidance issued by SFDPH.
If you are still in the process of figuring out how Thanksgiving will look for you and your family, please take a look at SFDPH’s guidance for safer holiday celebrations linked here. I have also linked my Nov. 19th bulletin to the community here. Those of you with in-person learners: should essential travel out of state be unavoidable or you find yourself in a high-risk situation- please contact the school. We will ensure that your child has what they need to succeed in distance learning during their 14-day quarantine.
At St. John School, we constantly ask our students to reflect on what they are grateful for. I am grateful for the St. John School Community. I am especially grateful for the support you have given me as we navigate through this pandemic together. Thank you again for adhering to our Community Health Pledge by wearing your masks, social distancing, and practicing healthy behaviors. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break.
Prayer of Gratitude: I stand in thankfulness before you, Lord for all that you have given me, shown me, promised me, and for your protection and guidance. May you watch over and protect all the members of the St. John School Community through this holiday season. Amen.
Parents: I am so grateful to the parents who navigate daily health checks, staggered drop offs and pickups. Our parents with distance learners, thank you for picking up school work, ensuring your student is on Zoom daily, and for dropping off work.
St. John Staff: Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for our St. John School staff. They are deftly navigating HyFlex teaching, fielding questions, conducting health checks, constantly cleaning, and ensuring that our students have a safe learning environment.
St. John the Evangelist Parish: Thank you to our pastor, Fr. Agnel, and our parish for supporting our school mission.
Donors: Thank you so much to everyone that has donated to help our school since the beginning of the school year! We were able to purchase 40 new iPads, 40 iPad covers, five new projectors (here), nine top-of-the line air filters (check them out here), paint for the yard (we are painting the alphabet, multiplication table, shapes, etc), additional textbooks (8th grade Science), a new toilet (hurrah!), eight new flush valve mechanisms (very exciting!), and additional cleaning supplies (we are constantly cleaning). We also upgraded our internet to support HyFlex teaching and earmarked some of the funds raised to upgrade our textbooks in the next year.
Glen Park Community: We are so grateful to our neighbors. Our students created cards (see below) to thank some of the small business owners in Glen Park.
St. John Gratitude Board
What are you grateful for?
We would love to see our community create a virtual board of what they are thankful for. Ask your children to participate and include an entry from them!
How to post:
Go to link: https://padlet.com/principalsj/gtk8obbo30upaxwz
Click the + sign
You can write, record, add a photo, etc.
Feel free to write your name or leave it anonymous.
(Please note that your addition won't show up immediately. I have to approve each addition)
Snapshot of November
- Those on campus successfully navigated Star testing, rainy day indoor recess, a fire drill, and our first rainy dismissal.
- TK-5 teachers implemented a new iPad schedule to ensure our TK-5 students are able to reach their goals on Lexia and STMath.
- Teachers attended professional development in visible learning.
- St. John School was approved for the California Teleconnect Fund, finalized the internet upgrade plan, and conducted virtual tours.
- The second grade class of 2020 had their First Communion this past Saturday.
- We also had a wonderful virtual wine-tasting event to celebrate Sr. Shirley’s many years of service to our community.
Our first day of Extended Care will begin on November 30th. Please note that only those that have pre-registered and submitted their paperwork will be allowed to attend. Contact Mrs. O (email@example.com) with any questions.
Practicing Gratitude- Resources
Children’s social and emotional skills can be enhanced if they are provided with opportunities to actively give thanks. Here are some adapted resources compiled by ADLA and used with permission that you can use to continue nurture your child's sense of gratitude:
Books That Teach Gratitude
Nurturing Gratitude from the Inside Out: 30 Activities for Grade K-8
Acts of Kindness
Encourage the entire family to be kind and engage in reflective moments of gratitude. Do small acts of kindness for one another. Challenge yourself and your children to do at least three acts of kindness a day without seeking recognition.
Growth journaling, when children write diary-like entries of reflection about their successes and improvements, encourages them to consider how they have changed and to reflect on the people who made their progress possible. Studies suggest that writing about positive experiences through growth journaling increases well-being by promoting a sense of gratitude.
This could become a family activity where everyone takes time to reflect and journal. Journaling focus can be about something very small (i.e. used the correct words to respond to frustration, took a deep breath instead of reacting in anger). Or it may be a more extensive reflection.
Thanksgiving - Mystery Science
Here are some informational videos from Mystery Science you can share with your children. Click on the link to access the videos. I've included some extension questions and activities.
Why do people eat turkey for Thanksgiving?
1. Why do people eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
2. What did this lesson make you curious about? What other questions do you have about Thanksgiving?
Bonus Activity: Eating turkey on Thanksgiving is a tradition. Does your family have its own traditions? Do you eat special food on certain days? Ask your family what traditions you have. Then, make a drawing of one of the traditions. Describe what it means to you and your family.
1. Do other countries celebrate Thanksgiving?
2. What did this lesson make you curious about? What other questions do you have?
Bonus Activity: People in the United States eat turkey on Thanksgiving. People in Ghana eat yams for the festival of Homowo. Think about your favorite food. Invent a holiday to celebrate that food. What would you call your day? What time of year would it be? What special things would you do that day? Write about or draw a picture of your favorite food celebration!
Wear a facemask and stay 6 feet away from people you do not live with, including family members.
Avoid spending time indoors with people you don’t normally live with, including family members, to the extent possible. The risk of getting COVID-19 is generally much greater indoors that outdoors because the virus that causes COVID-19 can travel in the air more than 6 feet and collects indoors and in enclosed spaces. If you must spend time indoors, choose a larger room that is well-ventilated or where windows and doors can be opened, and wear a face mask at all times. See more at www.sfcdcp.org/indoorrisk.
Try to limit the number of people you interact with. For example, if you are travelling to see family, avoid in-person interactions with neighbors or friends.
Don’t share vehicles with people you don’t live with. Vehicles are small enclosed spaces where COVID-19 can spread easily between people. If you must share a vehicle, try to ride with the same people each time, make sure everyone wears a facemask, open windows, and maximize outdoor air circulation as much as you can.
Avoid or limit holiday meals or gatherings with people you don’t normally live with, including family members. Eating and drinking together is higher-risk because people must take off their masks to eat or drink, are more likely to touch their mouths 3 while eating, often sit within 6 feet of each other, and talk while eating, creating more respiratory droplets. If you do have a holiday dinner or gathering, it is safer for people in different households to sit outdoors at least 6 feet apart and to wear masks when they are not actively eating or drinking (such as when talking).
Per SFDPH recommendations, students will be asked to not return for two weeks if they have engaged in high-risk activity as outlined in the travel advisory.
Links to local, regional, state and federal guidance on holiday travel:
SFDPH travel advisory:
SFDPH guidance on Safer Holiday Celebrations:
Association of Bay Area Health Officers Association:
California Department of Public Health Travel Advisory:
CDC - Celebrating Thanksgiving
Please always check SchoolSpeak for the most updated calendar
11/25/20- 11/27/20: Thanksgiving Vacation
11/29: Advent begins
11/30: 1st Trimester Report Cards sent home
12/1: PTG Meeting @6pm
12/4: No School (Archdiocesan Professional Development)
12/18: 12:30pm Dismissal- No Extended Care
12/21/20- 1/1/21: Christmas Vacation
Easter Vacation: 4/2/21- 4/9/21 (4/1 is a 12:30pm dismissal)
Last Day of School: 6/10/20
*All Wednesdays are 2pm dismissals*
*Please note that the calendar is subject to change. SchoolSpeak will have the most updated version*
Fundraisers: Packets with additional information were distributed to all students and posted on SchoolSpeak.
PTG Annual Survey: Please complete the annual PTG survey on SchoolSpeak. It's important we all stay connected and have a voice that is heard in the school.
December Meeting: 12/1 @6pm via Zoom (link on SchoolSpeak). Join us!
Questions? Want to get involved?: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please continue to look at SchoolSpeak under the PTG tab for updated information.
We love our St. John School community and feel that our parents and families know us best. Our school has thrived when current families have referred their friends/acquaintances to us.
Referral Incentive: Refer a family to us! If they enroll- your family will receive a $250 tuition deduction per newly enrolled student.